Storylines abound ahead of tomorrow night’s big Premier League fixture between Leeds United and Manchester United. While they are still Leeds United States of America, given who is on their roster, and who owns them, Leeds is now significantly less Americanized, with the sacking of manager Jesse Marsch yesterday. Although it will be an American who leads them in the interim, in Chris Armas.
Marsch, as expected, is instantly being linked to the open United States Men’s National Team job. United manager Erik ten Hag met the media today, and during his press conference he spoke about Marsch’s dismissal.
Manchester United vs Leeds United FYIs
Kickoff: Wednesday, February 8, 8pm, Old Trafford
PL Position: Manchester United 3rd, 42 points Leeds United 17th, 18 points
Transatlantic Passage: How the Premier League Redefined Soccer in America: LINK
United Starting XI Prediction: go here
Early Team News for Both Sides: go here
History Behind the Roses Rivalry: go here
“It’s always sad if a manager is a colleague and gets sacked, so in general I don’t believe in it, that you sack a manager and get better results,” Ten Hag said.
“Most of the time it doesn’t work. Let the manager finish their work and make a good evaluation. But the pressure is high with decision makers at football clubs and they turn. But if you see the facts, most of the time it doesn’t work out well.”
Ten Hag also spoke about the meaning and spirit of the Roses Rivalry.
“It’s definitely a big game [against Leeds] in this part of England, it’s a big game for us,” Ten Hag told the media today. “We know we have Manchester City and Liverpool but for our fans this means so much and our players are aware of that and know what to do.”
Team News for Both Sides
Ten Hag’s presser brought some team news updates as well. Forward Anthony Martial was ruled out, and that means the Frenchman will hit Blackjack now, as the number of games he’s missed due to injury becomes 21. And you still have three months left in the season to go. Hopefully, he gets fit soon and then finds a way to stay out of the training room.
Elsewhere Scott McTominay has been shifted from the “doubt/faces a late fitness test/touch-and-go” category to the “long-term injury absentee” designation. That group includes Christian Eriksen (ankle) and Donny van de Beek (knee). Mason Greenwood and Casemiro are suspended while Antony is a doubt with a lower leg knock.
Flipping over to Leeds, Sonny Perkins (ankle) is a doubt while Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (groin), Archie Gray (ankle) and Rodrigo (ankle/foot) are all sidelined.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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